Deutsche Bahn: Social Union calls for free travel for volunteers
If Bundeswehr soldiers travel free of charge, the Joint Welfare Association wants that also for volunteers. He refers to the abolished compulsory military service.
Because from January Bundeswehr soldiers are allowed to travel for free, the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband sees volunteer service providers at a disadvantage. The Federal Government should not forget the 100,000 predominantly young people who "for a pocket money of a maximum of 400 euros a month real commitment to our community afford," said CEO Ulrich Schneider of the New Osnabrücker Zeitung . These people deserve such recognition and need it urgently.
Recently, government and rail had agreed that Bundeswehr soldiers in uniform from 1 January may use trains of Deutsche Bahn for free - privately and professionally. The participating politicians defended the regulation as a sign of recognition and thanks. Policemen are allowed to ride a train for free for a long time. The state expects the presence of the uniformed in the railways an increased security.
Schneider criticized the regulation for soldiers. The fact that they had earlier had free rides between residence and barracks, was only appropriate. Since the abolition of compulsory military service, the Bundeswehr has been a professional army. There is no real reason to grant a certain professional group the privilege of free train travel.
Those who earn money can deduct the cost of their commute from the tax. How the freedoms for the soldiers are taxed is still unclear. Tax experts assume that the Federal Armed Forces will assume the costs as an employer if the entire journey or even the return journey of the soldier or the soldier home would have to be taxed at a flat rate. This could be supplemented by paragraph 3 of the Income Tax Act, which contains a number of tax-free benefits. For soldiers, the free trips would then be completely free.